Thursday, August 7, 2008

AOL and Platform A: Poised for succcess?

I have a very soft spot in my heart for AOL and Platform:A. I admit it and I am not afraid to tell the whole world about it! I don't work with AOL these days and I have not spent money with them in a few years, but I still think they can do well!

AOL was my first real foray online after UNIX and I remember how much fun it was! They've come upon hard times over the last few years and lost some of their mojo, but the news yesterday that Time Warner was pulling out the access portion of the business is a good thing! Let's see why...
  • AOL is still one of the top online properties and they get a lot of business! There are lots of ad dollars still coming through the site.
  • They can launch very successful new brands... like TMZ! TMZ very quickly became a leader in the category of celebrity gossip and that is no small feat. They have a TV Show and they are are always being quoted in other locations and outlets.
  • They have smart people! They are capable of building cool sites and cool technology!
  • They have a very deep catalog of content to use in the Time Warner vaults!

How can you not leverage these 3 assets to become a success?

If I were in charge at AOL, I would start dissecting the units in my company and feature the cool stuff we're doing to the outside world. I would start building relationships with bloggers like Michael Arrington at TechCrunch and the good folks at Read Write Web. I would start letting the internal folks at AOL see some daylight! One of, if not the primary, reason Google still gets a lot of hype is that they know how to highlight their internal teams and ideas. AOL has ideas that are just as good, so why not tell us about them?

I would start building some more properties. If everyone wants premium content and they want ad networks, why not create a bunch of unique properties? Leverage all of that Time Warner content machine and get to work!

I know it sounds simple, but I really think these two ideas would help!

You heard it here first!!

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